Bedtime reading with kids is a great way to bond with your child at the end of the day. Here are some tips to help you maximise enjoyment while reading a bedtime story to your child.
Reading to your child just before he goes to bed has been the definition of good parenting – at least according to Hollywood movies. Yet there is no denying that making bedtime reading with your kids a routine in your household will benefit all parties involved. If reading at bedtime sounds foreign and seems awkward to you, here are seven ways you can incorporate it into your family’s bedtime routine and make it a joy every night.
Always come prepared
You should always have three to five books on hand for your child to choose from and try to include their favourite stories or books that might interest them. Also be open to suggestions from your child, especially if you’re new at bedtime reading.
Keep things cosy
For the reading experience to be enjoyable, both your child and you should be comfortable. Make sure that your child is tucked in nicely into his or her bed and ready to sleep – meaning he has gone to the bathroom, brushed his teeth etc. Once both of you are comfortable, bedtime reading with your kids can commence in a low pressure and relaxing environment.
A good introduction
Before embarking on the process of reading the book, parents should take the time to introduce the book. Say something about what the story you will be reading is about as well as what your child can expect. This is especially important for kids who have not learnt to read or if it is a new story being read.
Shorter is better
The books that you read to your children should not be too long or complicated. We want our child to relax and enjoy the story and not be confused by it. A light read is always best just before bed.
Make an effort to get books that are rich in pictures. This is especially helpful for early readers or children aged six and below who might not be able read yet. The pictures provide a good point for them to visualise and anchor the story.
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Voice it out
The books that you will read are oftentimes filled with great adventure and interesting characters, so bring the story to life with your voice. Cry like a baby or coo like a dove at the appropriate moments so even though your child cannot read with you, they can still embark on the story just by listening to your animated voice. Adding that extra drama in you voice will definitely improve any bedtime reading with kids.
Time for questions
At the end of the reading, ask your child if he has any questions and if he is not too tired, you can pose a few questions to him too, such as, ‘what did you think of the prince in the story or which was your favourite part?’ These questions help you get to know your child better as well as encourage them to think critically about reading. It will all contribute to improving the bedtime reading with kids experience.
Whatever your bedtime reading routine encompasses, all parents should try to make it a point to incorporate bedtime reading with kids into it. Not only does it encourage good reading habits, it also fosters a healthy parent child bond.
Check out this video of a great book to start with for bedtime reading with kids.